The 2021 Faculty Recruitment Conference has been canceled due to concerns about COVID and other factors. We encourage you to arrange screening interviews via video conference.

Candidates may attend a webinar series including a workshop about the application and interviewing process and informal Q&A sessions with the AALS Sections on Women in Legal Education, Minority Groups, and Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research will offer advice. This series is intended to expand upon the workshop and Section events that were previously offered at the in-person conference.

We invite you to attend a new workshop for members of law school appointments committees.

Appointments Committee Workshop

Thursday, August 5, 2021, 4 – 5:30 pm Eastern

This once-a century pandemic has changed many long-established practices in academic hiring, including the cancelation of the AALS Faculty Recruitment Conference. The conference has been a major part of law school hiring for 40 years, and we recognize that many aspects of it were helpful to our member schools and appointment committees.

The Appointments Committee Workshop is an opportunity to discuss current hiring challenges and will offer all participants a broad overview of the varying strategies used by other law schools.



4 – 4:10 pm

Opening Remarks
Elizabeth H. Patterson, Senior Counselor, AALS

Welcome and Introduction of Panelists
Darby Dickerson, AALS Immediate Past-President and President and Dean, Southwestern Law School

4:10 – 4:40 pm

Panel – Navigating Hiring Practices for a Year in Transition

Panelists are experienced appointment committee members who will share lessons learned from past hiring cycles about navigating online and in-person initial interviews, holding effective virtual hiring interviews, online versus in-person job talks and call backs, hiring cycle timeframes, and more.


Eric Biber, University of California, Berkeley School of Law
Michael J. Higdon, University of Tennessee College of Law
Medha D. Makhlouf, The Pennsylvania State University – Dickinson Law
Shu-Yi Oei, Boston College Law School
Byron G. Stier, Southwestern Law School


Kimberly M. Mutcherson, Rutgers Law School

4:40 – 5:00 pm

Discussions in Small Groups

  • Online Interviewing, Call Backs and Job Talks
    • (Co-Facilitators: Shu-Yi Oei and Byron Stier)
  • How Schools can Support Their Hiring Committees
    • (Co-Facilitators: Eric Biber and Kimberly Mutcherson)
  • Tips for Chairs of Hiring Committees
    • (Facilitator: Michael Higdon)
  • Non-Tenure Track Hiring
    • (Facilitator: Darby Dickerson)
  • Recruiting Diverse Faculty Candidates
    • (Facilitator: Medha Makhlouf)

5:00 – 5:20 pm

Reports from Small Group Discussions and Audience-Wide Discussion

5:20 – 5:30 pm

Darby Dickerson, AALS Immediate Past-President and President and Dean, Southwestern Law School


Eric Biber

Biber, Eric Headshot

Eric Biber’s teaching and research interests are environmental law, natural resources law, energy law, land-use law, federal Indian law, administrative law, and property. Prior to joining Berkeley in 2006, he worked as a litigator in the Denver office of Earthjustice, a public-interest nonprofit organization specializing in public lands and other environmental cases. Biber taught public lands law as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in fall 2005. He is a member of both the Colorado and California bars. He is the co-director of the Cannabis Research Center at UC Berkeley, which examines the environmental, regulatory, and economic implications of legalized cannabis production in California and elsewhere. He is also co-principal investigator for Getting It Right, a joint research project between Berkeley Law and the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation; this project examines how local and state land-use and environmental regulations and litigation shape the approval of new housing in urban areas in California and elsewhere. 

Biber earned a master’s of environmental science with a focus in conservation biology from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Following law school, Biber clerked for Judge Carlos Lucero of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver and Judge Judith Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. 

Darby Dickerson

Screen Shot 2021-07-30 at 11.55.39 AM

Darby Dickerson is the President and Dean, and a Professor of Law, at Southwestern Law School. She formerly served as Dean at the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law, The John Marshall Law School, Texas Tech University School of Law, and Stetson University College of Law.  

 A nationally known leader in legal education, Dickerson is the Immediate Past President of the AALS. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute, a Past President and current Board Member of Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers, and a former Director of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD). 

Michael Higdon

Michael Higdon Headshot

Professor Michael J. Higdon is a professor of law and the associate dean for faculty development at the University of Tennessee College of Law. He teaches and writes in the areas of Constitutional Law; Sexuality, Gender and the Law; Wills & Trusts; and Family Law. He has chaired his law school’s appointments committee numerous times and frequently speaks on issues relating to faculty recruitment and the hiring process in general. 

Medha Makhlouf

Makhlouf, Medha Headshot

Professor Medha D. Makhlouf is an Assistant Professor and Founding Director of the Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic at Penn State Dickinson Law. She has a joint appointment in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Penn State College of Medicine. Professor Makhlouf’s research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of health law, immigrants’ rights, and poverty law and policy. Her recent scholarship has been published in the New York University Law Review, the California Law Review Online, the Northwestern University Law Review Online, and the American Journal of Law and Medicine. 

Kimberly Mutcherson

Dean of Camden Law Kimberly Mutcherson

Kimberly Mutcherson is Co-Dean and Professor of Law at Rutgers Law School in Camden. Her scholarly work sits at the intersection of family law, health law, and bioethics. Dean Mutcherson writes on issues related to reproductive justice with a particular focus on assisted reproduction, abortion, and maternal-fetal decision-making.   

She received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from Columbia Law School. 

Shu-Yi Oei


Shu-Yi Oei teaches and writes in the areas of tax policy and economic regulation. Her recent scholarship has focused on international taxation, particularly on empirical analysis of global tax developments and on transparency and privacy in international tax enforcement. Oei has also written extensively on technology, data and information, regulation of the gig economy, human capital investment, and social insurance.

Oei has served as the U.S. National Reporter to the European Association of Tax Law Professors and the International Academy of Comparative Law General Congress, and was Chair of the American Association of Law Schools Tax Section in 2018. She is an elected fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel, and is licensed to practice in Massachusetts.

Prior to joining Boston College Law School in 2017, Oei taught at Tulane Law School, where she was the inaugural holder of the Hoffman F. Fuller Professorship in Tax Law and also received the 2014 Felix Frankfurter Distinguished Teaching award, Tulane Law School’s highest teaching honor. Oei also previously practiced tax law for six years. Her practice included advising clients on federal, state and cross-border tax matters, transactional tax planning and tax controversies.

In addition to her law degree, Oei holds a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School.

Elizabeth Patterson

Elizabeth Patterson Headshot

Elizabeth Hayes Patterson, AALS Senior Counsellor, served twice as AALS Deputy Director (2005-2007 and 2009-2010) and once as AALS Associate Director (2016-2018). She taught Contracts, Conflicts, and Race and American Law at Georgetown Law for 33 years before retiring in 2013. At Georgetown, she served as Associate Dean for J.D. and Graduate Programs (1993-1997) and Associate Dean for Centers and Institutes (2019-2020). Before joining the legal academy, she clerked for the Honorable Ruggero J. Aldisert on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and practiced with the D.C. law firm Hogan and Hartson (now Hogan Lovells). She earned her B.A. from Emmanuel College and her J.D. from the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University. 

Byron Stier

Stier, Byron Headshot

Byron Stier is Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives, Director of the Civil Litigation and Advocacy Concentration, and Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School.  He has served as Chair of the AALS Section on Litigation, Liaison of the ABA Section of International Law to the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Co-President of the Harvard Law School Association of Los Angeles, and Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.  He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School; LL.M. from Temple University School of Law, where he was a Freedman Fellow and Lecturer in Law; and B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.